Sunday, August 14, 2011

What I Do When I'm Not Making Jewelry

Despite always loving a creative project, I have never been the best cook. I think it is because I find it difficult to stick to a recipe. Once I saw panda bread though, I knew I had to make it at some point. Well, I finally took some time this Saturday to make this fun bread and it actually turned out amazingly well! I must admit that I'm a little shocked, but very pleased. I even flubbed the recipe a bit. I subsituted honey for sugar and almond milk for cow's milk. Even with the substitutions though, the bread both looked and tasted great. Check out the results below.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

If you are upset about the economy, think about this . . .

Most of us look at our government and shake our heads at their inabilty to accomplish anything, but could we be just as much to blame for our economic situation?

When we go to buy groceries, clothing, or luxuries, how often do we look for the "Made in America" stamp? If you shop at Walmart, whose items are overwhelmingly made in China, only 6 cents of every dollar you spend stays in the local economy. Conversely, shopping at local stores, or buying American-made goods, keeps ten times that amount in the local economy. That's 60 cents for every dollar spent going back into your local economy.

Buy Locally-Made Gifts on Etsy.
As we shop at big box stores and buy foreign goods, money is drained from our economy. With less money in our economy, local businesses don't have the consumer spending or capital to encourage them to hire more workers. As less people are working, less money in the form of taxes goes into our local and federal government.

Yes, our government has proven to be a mess at the moment, but we can take some action into our own hands. If you can, please at least look for American made goods every time you shop. If you can't find any brands of a certain product that are made in America, try to at least find one made in a country that also promotes good working conditions. The next time you have to buy a gift, you could even search through the local artists on Etsy. You can also shop at your local farmer's market to get fresh and local groceries.

Shopping locally is one proactive action you can take to directly help the U.S. economy. As an American artisan, I know that I would not be able to earn a living without my customers. As I try to purchase only American made goods as well, I hope that the money I make can continue to help the local economy. If we all shop in this way, perhaps we can all pull ourselves out of the economic mess long before our political leaders are able to.